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Safeway rises on speculation of buyout interest

BY Staff Writer

New York — Shares of Safeway Inc. shares rose as much as 9% on Wednesday on rumors of increased buyout interest for its Canada operations by Canadian grocer Metro Inc. and Loblaw Companies Ltd.

On Tuesday, Metro announced it was selling off nearly half its stake in Couche-Tard Inc. for $482 million.

In December, Loblaw announced plans to spin off the vast majority of its property assets into a real estate investment trust.

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Goya Foods recognizes achievement

BY CSA STAFF

Jorge A. Plasencia was the inaugural recipient of the Goya Hispanic Achievement Award presented this week in New York.

Goya, the largest Hispanic-owned food company, and the Spain-U.S. Chamber of Commerce created the award to recognize a Hispanic leader or organization in the fields of business, arts, science and social responsibility.  The award was presented to Plasencia at an exclusive gala dinner at the New York City Public Library, attended by more than 250 people.

"We established The Goya Hispanic Achievement Award to celebrate our heritage and the success of the Latin community," said Bob Unanue, president of Goya Foods. "We wanted to highlight and commend an individual like Jorge Plasencia, who symbolizes and embodies the characteristics and qualities of an outstanding leader."

Plasencia is considered one of the foremost experts in reaching the burgeoning multicultural majority in the United States, with a celebrated career that spans over two decades of pioneering success in media, marketing, entertainment and professional sports. Most recently, Plasencia was elected chairman of the board of the National Council of La Raza, the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. In 1991, while still a teenager, he cofounded Amigos For Kids, a non-profit organization supporting underprivileged children and families that he has since nurtured into an institution of national prominence. His work with Amigos For Kids has earned him the March of Dimes’ Humanitarian of the Year award, among others. 

As a widely recognized Hispanic leader for its contributions to advancing the social, business and political objectives of the Hispanic community, Goya has impacted the food industry for more than 75 years.

"We are truly honored to host and organize this prestigious event for one of our founding members," said Xavier Ruiz, president of the Spain – U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Goya Foods was founded in 1936 and offer more than 2,200 products.

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Crossmark creates new experience agency

BY CSA STAFF

BrandMasters is the name of a new experiential marketing agency created by Crossmark.

While Crossmark is best known as a provider of third party merchandising services, the creation of BrandMasters is the company’s latest effort to diversify the portfolio of services offered to retailers and brand marketers. Crossmark said the new entity is intended to satisfy the growing need among consumer goods brands to effectively influence shoppers on the path to purchase. Services are said to include all phases of experiential marketing, from shopper insights to turnkey execution and measurement of programs ranging from in-store product sampling to outside events and digital engagement.

"Today, as brands face challenges in connecting with their consumers and shoppers, it’s become more critical than ever for a brand to deliver a message to its target audience that is relevant to them as individuals," said Crossmark CEO Joe Crafton. "People connecting with people is the most powerful means of influence, and BrandMasters connects brands with consumers along the path to purchase through personal engagement in-store and out of the store."

Leading the new business is Ed Hoehn, who joins Crossmark as SVP of marketing services after previously serving as VP of client services at Mosaic. Hoehn spent the past 13 years in the agency business and was involved in developing experiential solutions for more than 35 brands such as Microsoft, HP, Sony, Sharp and Verizon.

"Our approach is uniquely positioned to add value," Hoehn said. "We have built a platform on the strengths of Crossmark and added experiential marketing expertise. The platform includes proprietary data and analytics, retail expertise, exceptional field talent, and strong relationships with retailers and consumer goods companies. Adding experiential strategy, design and management allows us to build and execute smart programs to drive tangible results for clients."

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